Health

Cataract & Hearing Aid Mission

Treatment of preventable blindness, like cataract and low vision, and deafness is one of the most effective ways to lift people out of poverty, especially for vulnerable communities like refugees living in makeshift environments.

Cataract Missions – Life with Blindness

Cataract accounts for 30%-50% of blindness in most African and Asian countries. Every dollar spent towards eliminating blindness and correcting vision in developing countries returns a four-fold on investment in economic terms. This places eliminating avoidable blindness among the most effective interventions available. Cataract surgeries are some of the most impactful on a person’s quality of life and require no follow up visits to a doctor.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cataract is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment worldwide, accounting for nearly 20 million cases with nearly 5 million new cases each year.

Life With Hearing Loss and Deafness

Loss in hearing may result from genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise, and aging.

Loss is hearing is defined as the ability to not hear as well as someone with normal hearing: hearting threshold of 25 dB or better in both ears. Hearing loss can affect one or both ears, causing difficulty to hear conversational speech or loud sounds.

Hard of hearing is defined as hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. Individuals who are hard of hearing communicate through spoken language and the use of  hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices.

Deafness is profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing in an individual. They often use sign language for communication.

  • 60% of hearing loss is attributable to preventable causes, in children under the age of 15
  • 1.1 billion individuals are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to high noise – high risk for ages between 12–35 years
  • Over one third of people over 65 years of age are affected by disabling hearing loss – greater prevalence in South Asia, Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa
  • The current production of hearing aids meets less than 10% of the worldwide need

UMR Interventions

Since 2016, UMR has been sending medical missions to places like Kenya, Jordan, and Bangladesh to perform cataract surgeries on patients in need. UMR has helped to restore the gift of sight to curable blind cases by providing quality medical care services to some of the most underprivileged including the elderly, disabled, refugees and vulnerable people in the community, many of whom live without any support from their relatives and governments. Under this initiative, in coordination with partner NGOs and Ministries of Health, over 1,000 cataract surgeries have been successfully performed free of cost to date thanks to our generous donors. Our surgeries have been 100% successful with no recurring complications, and cost as little as $100 per eye.

Hearing Aid in Palestine/Jordan

UMR established a partnership with Community Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled/ Gaza camp (CRCD) – UNRWA, which works to integrate persons with disabilities in their communities and to improve their living conditions. The center helped UMR by offering its local program team and through conducting the need assessment for the project. UMR also partnered with Phonak Jordan, which provided a generous discount on the hearing devices and performed all medical examinations, measurements, and modeling before the devices distribution. It offered 2 years of device maintenance and monitoring in Jordan.

UMR’s Hearing Aid project helps Palestinian refugees in Gaza/Jerash camp and Syrian refugees in random camps in Al-Mafraq who have no health benefits and social security number.

When thousands of people in a community suffer from health issues, it can be nearly impossible for a society to grow and become self-sustainable. At UMR, we believe that in order to improve the quality of life in a community, everyone must have access to primary healthcare. As we continue our mission to help beneficiaries, we will be providing free cataract surgeries and hearing aids to as many people as possible.

Breast Cancer Screenings

UMR partnered with the African Women’s Cancer Awareness Association (AWCAA) and has been participating in medical campaigns to spread awareness and provide medical care in Sudan.

Earlier last month, UMR sent a group of physicians to hospitals and medical clinics in Sudan to educate women about preventative care for breast cancer, treatments, and more. Additionally, during this workshop, the doctors offered screenings for anyone who wished to receive one.

Psychosocial Support (PSS)

UMR seeks to provide a wraparound program for children and their families who are affected by conflict. Our Psycho-Social Support (PSS) and Child-Friendly Space initiatives give refugee women and children coping mechanisms to mitigate trauma while increasing critical thinking skills among children, especially younger ones, violence reduction among peers, and greater connectivity and comfort with their host community at large. The UMR Jordan PSS team supports children by listening to them, providing them with a safe space and atmosphere to express their feelings and work through the pain, consequently, transforming their negative emotions into something productive. The PSS project also emphasizes the importance of strengthening their social environment, which has a great effect on the beneficiaries’ psychological health and development on various levels; with the family, community, and the beneficiaries themselves.

The UMR Jordan PSS team has also adopted “We Love Reading”- an informal education curriculum designed for children who have experienced education disruption due to conflict. Refugees who do attend regular schooling are often victims of bullying which increases social isolation and can exacerbate mental trauma. “We Love Reading” is designed to teach young children literacy skills, introduce critical thinking through play therapy, and cultivate an early thirst for education that can carry forward when formal schooling options become available.

The program also provides awareness sessions, for topics such as sexual harassment, bullying, hygiene, emotional intelligence-EI, ethics, counseling, and psychotherapy sessions (PTSD, and Psychiatric Disturbance) in order to help them cope with their environment and society.

UMR Jordan initially:

  1. Assesses the social, financial, mental and physical health condition of a family; women and children (age 6-18), through house visits
  2. Studies and evaluates the situation of children and women according to their age, social, mental, and emotional needs, in addition to their social environment statuses, for the enrollment of UMR’s specialized PSS programs
  3. Builds up the entire program that properly fits their needs. It is usually divided into 4-6 awareness and counseling sessions and at least 12 sessions for psychotherapy

This is an ongoing program. Since its inception in 2016, 104 teenagers 13-18 years old, have attended the PSS activities designed to help them positively express their emotions, cultivate positive parent-child relations, find productive hobbies, and reduction of physical and emotional aggression towards themselves and others.

694 children between 5 and 12 years old attended PSS activities and been engaged in play therapy designed to help them express their feelings and build their self-esteem. They also discover appropriate behaviors when interfacing with parents, siblings, teachers, and elderly people to rebuild communal connections often lost to refugees.

Cataract Missions: Vision 2020

UMR successfully conducted over 1,000 cataract surgeries. Help us reach 5,000 new patients by the end of 2020

Key Facts & Figures:

  • Cataract accounts for 30%-50% of blindness in most African and Asian countries.
  • Every dollar spent towards eliminating blindness and correcting vision in developing countries returns a four-fold on investment in economic terms. This places eliminating avoidable blindness among the most effective interventions available.
  • Cataract surgeries are some of the most impactful on a person’s quality of life and require no follow up visits to a doctor.

Overview:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cataract is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment worldwide, accounting for nearly 20 million cases with nearly 5 million new cases each year. The majority of people with cataracts are found in the developing world due to a lack of access to adequate healthcare facilities or, more often, a lack of ability to afford this low-cost surgery. Most treated cases need as little as 15 minutes, and even though cataract operations have virtually no recovery time, the number of people with preventable blindness continues to grow.

UMR is putting extraordinary effort to reverse this alarming trend through its Vision 2020 campaign

Since 2016, UMR has been sending medical missions to places like Kenya, Jordan, and Bangladesh to perform cataract surgeries on patients in need. UMR has helped to restore the gift of sight to curable blind cases by providing quality medical care services to some of the most underprivileged including the elderly, disabled, refugees and vulnerable people in the community, many of whom live without any support from their relatives and governments. Under this initiative, in coordination with partner NGOs and Ministries of Health, over 1,000 cataract surgeries have been successfully performed free of cost to date thanks to our generous donors. Our surgeries have been 100% successful with no recurring complications, and cost as little as $100 per eye.

I want to thank all of you for donating to this campaign as I have been blind for 6 years. My right eye was damaged by a rock when I was digging a well and now my only eye that was working has been slowly losing sight from cataracts… Soloman (70 years old)

Project Objective:

To restore eyesight to 5,000 people in Jordan and Kenya with cataract by the end of 2020. In addition to cataract surgery, UMR will provide eye exams, glasses and other rehabilitation needed for refugees and others who cannot afford the cost of these medical care services and procedures.

Our Impact:

Treatment of preventable blindness, like cataract and low vision, is one of the most effective ways to lift people out of poverty, especially for vulnerable communities like refugees living in makeshift environments. They regain their independence and confidence to approach economic opportunities and education. UMR and partners have restored eyesight to people who thought they would never be able to see again. We need to continue this work. There are thousands of people out there in great need of hope, and a chance to see again.

Gaza Emergency Appeal

Update: December 19, 2019

Update: November 15, 2019

Renewed fighting in the Gaza strip has left 34 Palestinians dead and over 111 reported injured, many of whom are women and children (1). As the emergency situation in Gaza continues unfolds, UMR is monitoring the developments and responding to the crisis.

Since fighting began on November 12, the newly enacted ceasefire has been strained as attacks and airstrikes continue. In response, UMR has sent emergency food packs and medical kits at the request of the Palestine Ministry of Health (MoH) in an effort to ease the strain on the humanitarian crisis.

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50430783

 

Update: October 13, 2019

INTERAGENCY EMERGENCY HEALTH KITS

Upon the urgent request of the Palestine Ministry of Health, UMR will be sending 5 Interagency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK) to Gaza. These units consist of two different sets of medicines and medical devices: a Basic Unit and a Supplementary Unit. Each of these units contains sufficient materials to temporary equip medical facilities for 10,000 people for 3 months. Each kit has an expiration date of 2 years. All units are packed and shipped in sturdy boxes so upon arrival in Palestine, the contents arrive in perfect condition and are ready to use.

The complete IEHK can help equip several field hospitals or doctors’ posts with medicines, medical disposables and medical equipment. This ensures that medical relief is readily available in the first months after a major disaster.

Cholera Emergency Response (Yemen)

Cholera Emergency Response in Hodeidah and Raymah Governorates – Funded by UMR & WHO

Almost five years of intense conflict have exacted a heavy toll on Yemen’s health system, impeding the proper functioning of its water and sanitation services. As such, the spread of diarrhoeal diseases has reached unprecedented levels; the World Health Organization reported in October 2017, there were over 815,000 suspected cases of cholera. The seriousness of this is underlined by the fact the only other major outbreak of cholera since 1949 (the humanitarian crisis following the Haiti earthquake in 2010) recorded a similar number of cases over a seven year period – Yemen has managed to surpass this in six months. Worst affected by cholera and other waterborne illnesses are the country’s most vulnerable. With little to no resources for public health departments and sanitation workers, the ability of Yemen to both prevent and fight the disease is greatly weakened.

In partnership with the WHO and HA, this project improved access to cholera treatment through the establishment of 5 cholera treatment centers (CTCs) and 34 oral rehydration centers (ORCs) to reduce the spread and limit the overall mortality rate of cholera in the targeted communities & districts of Al Hodeidah and Raymah Governorates in Yemen.

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